The Prado Museum-Madrid

The Prado Museum-Madrid

The Prado Museum is a must when in Spain! I don't know about you guys but I love learning about history and the story behind certain pieces of art. The Prado Museum houses some of the most comprehensive collections of Spanish paintings in the world and is one of one of the most visited places by tourists. Is it on your itinerary yet?



The Museum is in central Madrid, the heart of the city. Its name comes from the district where it’s located, an area of market gardens known as the "Prado" or meadow. The museum holds dazzling displays of work by great European masters such as Goya, Velázquez, Bosch, Rubens, Raphael and among many other amazing artists. Pay close attention because I'm going to give you some detailed information about three pieces of art that caught my eye! My goal is to make this as interesting and as fun as possible, so you can get cultured faster! So sit down, grab a snack and get ready.


Bosch: Garden of Earthly Delights


Middle Panel

In this painting of delicate details, Hieronymus Bosch attempted to depict the whole human experience, from life to afterlife in three related canvases. The first on the left is meant to depict paradise and the last on the right represents hell, while the center represents The Garden of Earthly Delights. Now the first time I saw this painting I was so intrigued by the many things going on, every inch was something different and rather odd. The land presented has curious creatures (including a unicorn) representing the garden of Eden at the moment Eve was created to be Adam's companion.

What do you think? Some art historians believe the middle panel represents mankind sinning and missing their chance at heaven while the right panel is filled with darkness, creatures, and a chaotic mess. Now, this picture seems small but it is much bigger than what it seems. The central panel measures about 7.25 x 3.25 feet, meaning that when the panels are open, this piece is almost 13 feet wide!
Bosch-Garden-Earthly-Delights-detail.jpg                                                Left Panel                                                      Right Panel

El Greco: The Annunciation 1596-1600

In the course of his life, El Greco painted many versions of the Annunciation. This painting is intriguing, with such beautiful details that you can almost feel the emotions painted into it. Now in this picture, you can see Mary and the archangel Gabriel. This is the annunciation of her motherhood. In the middle you can spot a burning bush, this is the burning bush that appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai and burned without being consumed by the fire. This is said to symbolize Mary's virginity and purity. If you look to the left you can also spot a book that Mary was reading before Gabriel appeared, along with a sewing basket. The radiant dove that is hovering above them is the traditional symbol, the Holy Spirit, said to have overshadowed Mary when Christ was conceived.




El Greco painted the scenes in small spaces, emphasizing the vertical format and bathing them in a ghostly light. The color tones are cold, contrasting and are applied very loosely, which is a perfect example of El Greco's personal style.


Black Paintings- Francisco de Goya (1820-1823)


Black Paintings- Francisco de Goya (1820-1823)

Okay, these paintings really caught my attention! There are actually 14 of them, and they are known for their dark tones and the predominant use of black. Towards the end of his life, Goya suffered a severe illness in 1793 that left him deaf, withdrawn, and disillusioned. This is said to have changed his character in a way that reflected in his work. As a form of expression, he darkened the walls in two rooms, one upstairs and one downstairs in his home where he painted scenes of witches, hags, and evil spirits. These images were then later transferred onto canvas and are now known as Las Pinturas Negras, the Black Paintings.


Saturn Devouring His Son:  picture

This painting may be one of the most disturbing paintings out of the 14, but probably the most well-known out of the Black Paintings. It depicts a scene from Greek mythology where Saturn has been told one day he would be overthrown by one of his sons. To prevent this, he killed and devoured all his children immediately after their births.



"Fantasy abandonded by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels." - Goya


Museum Hours:

Monday-Saturday  10:00-8:00
 Sunday and Public Holiday 10:00-7:00
 01 Jan, 01 May, 25 Dec



Visiting The Prado Museum

Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm, Sundays and Holidays 10am-7pm

Closed: January 1, May 1, December 25

Admission: 15 Euros

Free: Monday-Saturday 6-8pm, Sundays and Holidays 5-7pm 


The Prado Museum has so many abstract and creative pieces of art that are waiting to be seen. The museum has painting collections from 11th-18th centuries with many masterpieces by many genius artists. The quality, variety, and diversity make this museum one of the best-endowed in the world. Next time you're in Spain, be sure to make this one the top things to do on your list! 


Vanessa Dominguez

Written by Vanessa Dominguez

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